Decatur County Visitors Commission

The Decatur County Visitors Commission met at noon on March 21, 2024. The meeting began with approving the Consent Agenda. The Commission then approved the financials. 

The Commission members reviewed the Director’s report. Currently, the board has a vacancy due to Hannah Rode no longer working at Hampton Inn. This board vacancy is an appointee of Mayor Josh Marsh and they must be involved in the hotel business. 

Philip Deiwert, Executive Director spoke about the Chamber of Commerce’s work to inform the public about the Solar Eclipse through their various info sessions. He said he believes this has helped community members become more informed about the Solar Eclipse and the weekend events. 

Philip began to discuss the Stellar Communities 2024 Designation Opportunity. He asked Mayor Josh Marsh to discuss this. Mayor Marsh stated that through the Indiana Office of Community & Rural Affairs (OCRA) and the Steller Communities 2024 Designation Opportunity is currently open to Letters of Intent. Mayor Marsh said that this is an extensive process and that he is looking at the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) as the county-wide entity looking at heading up the process to apply for Stellar Communities. The letter of intent is due by May 1, 2024. 

Philip stated that he has met with the Greensburg Daily News and is excited that above the obituary section, there is now a section in the newspaper that has a countdown to the Solar Eclipse. He said that he is also working with them on having additional ads in the newspaper for the Solar Eclipse as we get closer. Philip said that he continues to advertise for Visit Greensburg with the Pacers and Reds. 

Philip provided an update on the Aquatic Center stating that he believes that the county is currently working on the funding that is needed for the center. Also, RL Turner has been approved to design a pool design that is within the 5 and 6-million-dollar price range. 

Philip stated that the Bicentennial Alleyway Project has no new updates except that they may not break ground until the Franklin Street project begins. He stated that this is still being worked on and he hopes to have more updates next meeting. 

Philip said that all of the city and county departments in the county are working hard to coordinate the Solar Eclipse event. He stated that even 911 will have additional staff in the office. Philip said, “I feel that as a community we are doing everything we can to be prepared.”

The 2024 Summer Concert Series is scheduled to begin with the first event being on June 15, 2024, with the Friends of Fred and Mainstreet Greensburg collaborating to put on the event. 

Daniel Fayette, Board Member provided an update on Pirate Park Concessions. He stated that he had originally spoken with the Soccer Board President about the concession stands and that the plan was to get volunteers to run the stand, however, he has been informed that this is not the direction they are looking to go. He spoke about speaking with Chris Ramey about running the concession stands as he and his family had run the concession stands during the 2023 season. Daniel stated that a vending machine will be installed at Pirate Park that will offer drinks and snacks to help with those practices during the week when concessions are not usually open. 

Philip spoke about the Tourism Improvement District that was being discussed at the State Legislative 2024 Short Session. The Investment District did not move forward during this session, however, he said that he believes that this will come back up during the 2025 State Legislative Session. 

Devin Morgan, Volunteer began discussing the research that he has done about Destination Penny Press Machines. He had reached out to four companies, but only two of those have been willing to work with Devin. He spoke very highly about the Penny Press Machine Company. The machine would have a press that presses a design on a penny. The plan is for Visit Greensburg to do a design on one side and a logo on the other. This can become a revenue stream after the costs are covered. Devin stated that an acrylic machine, wheels, and a wrap of the machine would cost $6,995.00. If they choose a metal frame instead of an acrylic machine it would cost $7,595.00. These machines require very little maintenance with only a yearly oiling of the gears required. Devin spoke about individuals who travel just to collect the engraved pennies and included in the purchase price they would be included in a free publication called Penny Collectors so individuals can know of the machine and be able to come get an engraved penny. There are currently not very many machines locally. You can customize the price from $ 0.25+ a penny to $1.25+ a penny. They could do up to 4 different designs. Devin said, “This would be a good way to let visitors take a piece of Greensburg with them.” The other company that provided information was for $3,800 plus shipping costs of $300. Devin said that the first company was much more willing to work and even send samples. The board tabled this idea pending Devin’s continued research. Devin will return to the April meeting with additional information. 

Philip brought up the July 4th Fireworks that are put on by the Decatur County Parks & Rec Department. He stated that for the past two or three years they have provided $5,000 in funding to assist with the fireworks show. He states that the Parks & Rec dept has raised approximately $3,850, had $2,000 left over from last year, and has a commitment from the Arts Council for $5,000. The Visitor’s Board voted to provide up to $5,000 in funding, however, they asked Philip to approach the Parks & Rec Department about possibly being an event partner and working together to promote and be a part of the planning and execution of the event. 

The Board voted to adjourn the meeting. 

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